Since the hubs and I took our time having a family we had plenty of time to watch our family and friends have and begin to raise children of their own. We have learned a lot about how all children are different and that just because one style works in this household does not mean it will work in another. We have also noticed some pretty universal norms. We have taken the time where we were not actively trying to procreate to learn what we liked and what we felt could be done differently; also what would be priorities in a friends household may not be in ours, and vice versa.
At the end of the day what is the goal of parenting? I think there are many goals. For me, though I hope to raise intelligent, kind, hard-working, moral, productive members of society. I want to spend as much time nurturing as I do teaching. All of this will include discipline and structure. I want open communication with my children. I want them to have fun, worry-and-care-free childhoods filled with love and laughter. I hope to raise them with ambition and direction in life. I want them to have their own goals and want more for their adult lives and their future children than they had. I want them to strive for more but be thankful of all that they were given by their parents.
Parenting is the most blessed responsibility I will ever face. I will take it seriously. I will not allow my children to walk all over me. I will not be the mother being screamed at by their unruly toddler in the Wal-mart, demanding such-and-such toy with curse words and physicality. I've seen it happen far too often. I am not so superior to think my children will be born with manners, and respect. No- I know that it is my responsibility to teach my children these things. It is also my responsibility to teach them that money doesn't grow on trees, you have to earn what you get, and as hard as his/her parents will work to give them everything they want in life- they will not get everything they want. I also want to add, I know and fully expect my kid to throw a fit and embarrass the hell out of me in the Wal-Mart, and probably more than once. I also expect full well to show my child there are consequences for your actions.
Parenting will be a roller coaster (which BTW, I hate roller coaters). There will be good days and bad days. These kids will teach me things about myself that I would have otherwise never had the opportunity to learn. In the end I hope to have intelligent, kind, hard-working, moral, productive members of society to show for my efforts.
This is what parenting means to me.